First access

First access is a whole class programme of instrumental tuition. It is aimed largely at KS2 and is intended to give every child the opportunity to learn a pitched musical instrument. Recorder, violin, guitar, brass, whistle and ukulele are currently on offer. While First access is an important part of the National Plan for Music Education, it should not be done without careful assessment of its role in the wider music curriculum, and without an available progression route beyond it for children who wish to carry on playing an instrument.

Small group tuition

Small group tuition is offered for children and young people who have usually had a first access experience and want to continue playing an instrument. Groups should not normally be larger than 6 in a 30 minute lesson for beginners and should be no more than two for instrumentalists who have progressed beyond grade 3. For the advanced grades (6-8), individual lessons are recommended. Children who have been identified as gifted and talented should be supported by their school to enable them to progress to the level of which they are capable.

Curriculum support

The hub offers access to Charanga digital teaching and learning resources and CPD for school staff who use Charanga.

For more information about Charanga’s contemporary digital resources for music teachers and schools including Charanga Music World — the exciting online learning for children and young people — go to


A program of live workshops linked to curriculum topics is available and is updated termly. Currently on offer are music technology workshops for y5-7. These are hub funded and meet some of the requirements of music technology as stated in the National Plan for Music Education. Other titles are Victorians go stomp, Around the world and Disney.

Service level agreements

Both local authorities offer a service level agreement. Please contact Barbara Murray ( or Lynn Freer ( ) to discuss your requirements.

Secondary heads of music network

The hub facilitates network meetings for all secondary school heads of music departments. These take place at least termly and provide a forum for sharing good practice, CPD and peer support. Meetings are hosted in different locations each term in either Gateshead or South Tyneside.